A MAN'S CALLING by Alonzo Gibbs


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This is closer to The Fields Breathe Sweet(1963) than to the much stronger The Least Likely One, (1964). The setting again is eighteenth century Long Island, the central figure is a girl, and she's an idealized character. Delanie is the darkly colored eighteen year old ward of the Dutch couple, Tunis and Annamelia Van Cott. She knows only rumors about her origins, and she would like to feel more a part of the Van Cott family. Tunis is a surveyor, and when he starts training Delanie as his assistant, she is gradually accepted as a daughter by the Van Cotts. When Tunis is bedridden, Delanie in turn teaches her neighbor and old friend Seth Clydesdale how to survey too and their romance is measured out along with the job they are completing for Tunis. Delanie is unblemished and her story rolls along without much development. Her triumph at being recognized by the Van Cotts as one of them is ineffective because you never really see her left out, and her discovery about her background seems anticlimactic although it's meant to prove that ""we are all brothers and sisters in God's sight."" There are some violent incidents (Tunis' original assistant breaks his back saving Seth, Tunis is caught and dragged by a deer, a peddler is lost in a snowstorm, develops gangrene and dies) but these only interrupt without having relevance. This is over-simplified melodrama, pretentiously offered.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1966
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard